Look Buddy,

If you don’t follow the “tax law whining” blog circuit

You may not have heard the sad tale of Todd Henderson, a Law Professor in Chicago. Since I only really post here when I’m super pissed, I’ll fill you in: Mr. Henderson and his wife, a doctor (who treats CANCER for CHILDREN) fall “just barely” above the $250,000 a year income level, the group whose Bush-era tax cuts Obama wants to get rid of. I know we’ve all been dancing around in Robin Hood/Marxist glee at the idea of taking more money from rich people, but wait! In a total bonerkill of a blog post, Henderson lets us all know what a drag it is to be to be Super Rich. Let’s listen in!

I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.

The original post seems to be bahleeted, but you can read the whole thing along with an excellent, well thought out smackdown, on this post by Brad DeLong. Henderson goes on to describe his massive student loans (hey, I can relate!) and the $100,000 a year he pays in taxes because he can’t afford a fancy accountant (I use turbo Tax too! Guys, he totally gets me!). He talks about his (legal(his note not mine))housekeeper and (legal(really))yard worker who would he’d have to stop employing if he had to rearrange the ol’ budget. And then there’s the mortgage, the private school tuition, the contributions to retirement accounts, and they don’t even get the movie channels! I could go on about how his problem is lifestyle inflation rather than his income and taxes but DeLong does a much better job so seriously, go read it. It’ll make you feel better about the world.

I want to be less critical of this guy than I am. I get that the bills add up! I really do! My pithy income, while only a tenth of his (though if DeLong’s estimation of $400,000 is more accurate, it’s more like 1/16th), would be more than enough for any other single, childless 25 year old without my student loans and newish car. I don’t have health care and my glasses have tape on them, but that’s the choice I made when I was naively picking colleges at 19. It’s on me.

But $250,000 a year? That is SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY.

I  cried a little typing it into my calculator just now.

With that much money, I could pay off my car in a week. My student loans would take a month, maybe two. I could finally travel outside the country or maybe just visit every national park like I’ve always wanted. I could finally, finally, get some decent shoes and bras and coats. I wouldn’t have to worry about the electric bill or the credit card bill in terms of due date versus payday versus day when the banks are open. I wouldn’t stay up all night tossing and turning worrying about the pathetically low balance in my bank account. I could buy whatever brand I want from any grocery store I want, even Whole Foods! And even with all that, making that much money between my sister and I, living in our shithole little apartment, we could invest at least six figures and let that shit compound until our inevitable retirement in a charming little bungalow with six basset hounds. It is so much fucking money.

If you made that much, how could you not just spend your days laughing in your giant piles of money, weeping and thanking God for the sheer amounts of cash available to you to spend whatever way you choose? How could you not just shit yourself with gratitude at the opportunities presented to you every single moment of every single day? DUDE. The world is your fucking oyster! You’re rich! You’re rich!

And now, because I’m nerdy, a relevant Broadway song:

$250,000: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?



Filed under money, rants

3 responses to “Look Buddy,

  1. Jean

    My ointment is in that picture. Hrm.

  2. Mommy

    Accountants make good money. Just saying.

  3. Diana

    Crunching his numbers I can actually see where a rational person making his salary would be coming from, especially considering he actually helps keep two people (who are in the lower income bracket and probably terrified about losing their jobs with the economy as it is. I feel mostly for them) working. To be taken seriously in a profession such as lawyering and/or ((nutty))professering there are also certain standards of living that are expected to be held by the person in order to uphold the image of the firm/school/Rich-Aunt-Mavis. Kids, especially if you want them to have opportunities and a top-notch education, and mortgages can suck the soul out of paychecks.

    Todd, however, is in need of removing his hand from the self-centered-egotist jar. He’s not approaching this as a rational person who happens to be well off. He’s approaching this like a spoiled brat. You can’t take my monies! !

    Tl;dr – all of his arguments would have some form of merit if he wasn’t such a egotistical little douche about approaching it.

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